Today we celebrate International Volunteer Managers Day. Here at Frontier Services we’re so proud of the difference that our Outback Links volunteers make in the lives of people living and working in remote Australia. But none of that would be possible without our amazing Outback Links team – Michelle and Eloise. They both do a brilliant job of connecting those in the bush who are doing it tough, with volunteers who can help them.
We chatted to them to find out more about what they do and how it makes a difference.
What do you do at Frontier Services?
Michelle:I’m the National Programs Manager for Frontier Services and I’ve been in this role for 3 years now.
Eloise: Volunteer Programs Administrator and I’ve been in this role since March 2020.
What is the best part of your job?
Michelle:There are many awesome parts of my role but if I had to choose just one, it would be the incredible privilege of being welcomed into the homes of those doing it tough out bush, listening to their stories, getting to know them, having a laugh and showing them that there are people who care. Being able to show them that they do matter and they are enough is so rewarding.
Eloise:There are so many but one of my favourites is being able to provide the opportunity for farmers and volunteers to connect with one another. Hearing the wonderful stories about the friendships that are made between the farmers and volunteers from just one placement makes all the hard work worthwhile.
Why is volunteering important?
Michelle:Where do I start! In a nutshell, volunteering provides a very special opportunity to make a human connection with someone you might not have crossed paths with otherwise. It’s always extra special with Outback Links because so many of the people that we support and care for live in the remotest parts of Australia.
Eloise:Volunteering is now more important than ever because it’s about giving back to those who are putting their hand up and saying that they are in need of assistance.
They might need support with practical work, or they might just need a friendly face. Either way, volunteers are always able to make a difference.
It also provides an opportunity for volunteers to learn new skills and experience the reality of people living in remote Australia.
What makes Frontier Services volunteers special?
Michelle: Again, where do I start? I have had the absolute honour to have met some of the kindest people on the planet in my role at Frontier Services.
Our Outback Links volunteers continually impress and amaze me with their generous attitudes, their admirable humility, their incredible dedication and their deep love of the Outback and those that call it home.
I am proud of playing my part in giving our volunteers the opportunity to make a difference and show others how much they care.
Eloise: Frontier Services volunteers are special because there’s an ongoing relationship that volunteers create with us and with the farmers that they get to meet. There are opportunities for everyone no matter what skills they have. And we welcome anyone who is willing to lend a hand to find out why Outback Links is a wonderful way to give back.
What is one thing you’ve learned from working with Outback Links volunteers?
Michelle:Volunteers are a gift and they have a gift. They are an incredible and invaluable asset. It takes a special kind of person to volunteer with Outback Links and we couldn’t be prouder of our volunteer community.
Eloise:If I had to pick just one of the many things I’ve learnt from working with volunteers it would be that there are so many beautiful and amazing people in this world who are willing to go above and beyond for our farmers and their families. No matter the task or the commitment, our volunteers are always there to stand with people in the bush.